HR Roundtable 2015 Key Takeaways – Bridging the Gender Pay Gap

03 June 2016 Victoria Butt

Bridging The Gap

​Annual HR Breakfast 2015

Facts & Figures:

  • Based on May 2015 statistics gathered by the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA), the current gender pay gap is 17.9% nationally (full time employment):

    • This means that women need to work an additional 65 days to earn the same amount as men (referred to as Equal Pay Day – this year it falls on September 4th – 65 days after the beginning of the financial year)

    • For the Financial and Insurance services, the gender pay gap is the highest of all sectors – 30.5% 2015 (an increase of 0.5% on last year = 30.0% May 2014)

  • Male graduates earn 9.4% more than female graduates.

  • 40% of women in Australia are the main breadwinners in the household.

  • Gender Pay Gap Analysis – in 2014

    came into effect for businesses with over 100 employees –

    • Only 16.4% of organisations conducted analysis on gender pay gap within the last 12 months

      • 50.2% of financial and insurance services conducted analysis – 46% of those organisations took action on the findings.

  • Women will retire with 16% less superannuation than men.


Presentation – Alex Hunter (TAL)

  • Background on TAL

    • Australia’s largest life insurer

    • Company is about giving back to society – not just providing life insurance

  • Conducted an across the board survey in 2012 and 2014 –

    • In 2012 was 3 separate surveys; combined to 1 survey in 2014 (1113 responses from 1800 team members).

    • Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) Council was set up as a result of the findings:

      • Support from senior team is essential to the success of any strategies put in place;

      • Having the CEO on board is half the battle – if the CEO is not on board, it is the job of HR to raise the awareness and get the CEO on board! Sometimes it is a case of the CEO not being aware of the issue, rather than them not being accepting.

  • Found from the surveys that it is not just about pay equity, but about the bigger picture –

  • Easier to achieve a lowering of the gender pay gap in some industries over others – historically some industries are either male or female dominated.

  • ‘Unconscious Bias’ 
  • TAL have closed the gap in gender pay from 82% in 2012 to 99.02% in 2014 – aim is 100% in 2020 (set as a KPI).

  • Found that if you rely on only who can work full time, you reduce your talent pool by 50%.

  • Initiatives Introduced:

    • Unconscious bias training;

    • Male Champions of Change – anyone in the business is welcome to join;

    • Report the results both to the market and the team (very significant as it encourages involvement within the business);

    • Integrated Talent Management – this is a key part of the equation;

    • Reverse C Mentoring – mentoring from the bottom up;

      • All about knowing what it is like working at the grass roots

    • Introduced a Working Parents Program ;

    • ALL roles are offered ‘flexibly’ – ie working from home or part time

      • Opens up a massive talent pool

      • MUST be set up properly within the business

      • No longer about being seen sitting at a desk

    • Job Architecture – this is a focus for Remuneration Managers

      • TAL pays for the role, not the individual

      • Helps when a person looks at moving across to a different career path

      • Clear benchmarks are set for each role, band, etc

        • This enables team members to raise concerns with their own


        • TRANSPARENCY!!

        • Constantly measuring and reporting = visibility and transparency

      • AON Hewitt assisted TAL with the Job Architecture

      • Essential that Job Agencies know what the focus is for the business – get them on board to be your voice!

      • 7 Themes at TAL

        • Support – from CEO, executive teams

        • Job Architecture

        • Changing Review process (salary, bonus, KPI’s)

        • Awareness

        • Transparency – releasing of salary bands

        • Great Remuneration & Benefits Leader

        • Recruitment Team is key in NOT continuing the imbalance.


  • How did TAL bridge the gap?

  • By preparing the managers in the teams to have the conversations – a lot of time and money went into education.

  • Important to know what is going on within the business – and then doing something about it.

  • How do you get managers on board with flexible working?

  • Support from the CEO is essential – CEO driven, so there was no going back on this. TAL do what they can to have team members set up properly at home.

  • How have the changes affected the staff attrition rates after 2014?

  • Attrition rates are quite stable.

Other Comments:

  • Johnson & Johnson – there is a tool used within the business that is used when making offers to candidates/team members.

  • Tool shows a range for roles – candidates brought in at the mid-point. This provides managers the opportunity to argue for remuneration over/under the midpoint.

  • This can sometimes also cause even more disparity between men/women, as women generally speaking, want to stay within a role until they can perform it well, whereas  men have a clear career path and are happy to make changes mid-role.

  • AMP Capital – When the new Managing Director joined the team, the first communication sent out was across gender balance.

  • Flexible working conditions are currently being introduced into AMP.

  • Shortlist Quotas:

    • Parity – over the last year, 30% of roles have been female mandates

      • Parity aim to present 50/50 shortlists

    • TAL – Shortlist quotas are 50/50 (used to be 30/70)

    • Once a quarter the GM talks to everyone on gender within the business.

    • Businesses have a duty to educate the recruiter

      “You want them to be your voice in the market” – Alex Hunter

      “Let recruiters be your voice – educate us” – Victoria Butt

    • HSBC – Run calibration sessions which help with remuneration reviews

    • Historically, the industry is male dominated, which is the challenge.

    • For each function, the remuneration is relatively the same between men and women.

    • Board reports always include a piece around gender analysis – more focused on participation than remuneration disparity.

    • Essential that there is a passionate HR leader pushing the initiatives and


    • Russell – had a Diversity Council, but sits on the side of the business.

    • Gender disparity active on the agenda.